Yesterday as I was preparing to head down to the field to work in the garden, I received a phone call–some locals over in Madison had seen my advertisement in Uncle Henry’s (the ad basically says that we’re looking for livestock in our area), and were we interested in a couple of goats?
Goats are at the top of our must-have list, as far as livestock goes–with so much acreage to reclaim for farming use, and two young boys to supply with milk and dairy–it only makes sense. However with so much going on this year, funds are running short–so when I asked about pricing, and was told that the owners were more interested in finding the goats a good home, I leapt at the opportunity.
Monday night I drove into Madison and met with the woman who had the goats. She was a sweet lady, but getting on in years, and apparently suffering from some health issues that cause her to get worn out easily. It was obvious that she dearly loved the two goats.
Bella and George are three-quarters nigerian dwarf, and one-quarter nubian. George is a wether, and Bella has never been bred. Both are healthy and sweet-natured–ideal for the beginning goat-farmer, and for the farmer with children running amuck.
The woman went over the care and maintenance of the two goats with me–she had a list made out–I even gained a demonstration in hoof-care by the woman’s dairy-farming son, who came over to lend a hand in the transfer of ownership. I was given all of the equipment that she had for the goats as well: water buckets, medications, protein lick, grain, and even the hay rack off the the wall of her barn. I couldn’t have asked for a better start–and I am so immensely grateful.
We set them up a day-pasture, with a 3-sided shelter made of pallets and topped with a tarp to protect them from rain, and until we get fencing up they are tethered. The chickens we moved into the wattle-coop, protected from the fox by an electric net-fencing, and the goats get the shed at night, which protects them from coyotes.
Moving to a new home is an overwhelming experience for any animal, but Bella and George are adjusting. The goat-pasture is situated on top of the old barn foundation, complete with a massive mound of rocks left behind by our predecessors–all of it grown over with tall grasses, raspberry canes, nettles, and brambles. Pasture is something they did not have at their former home, and George is definitely loving the rock-pile, while Bella particularly seems to enjoy the raspberry canes.
We’re overjoyed to welcome these two goats to the farm, and we had a family pizza-party last night to celebrate this accomplishment. The boys are happy, and so are Keith and I. Runamuk is gaining–slowly, but surely.